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01/15/2014
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Is Public Shaming Acceptable Punishment for Breaking the Law?

Judges are coming up with creative punishments for law-breakers. One example comes from Judge Michael J. Holbrook, who sentences convicted defendants to spend their favorite holiday in jail. However, some believe Judge Pinkey Carr has taken it too far with punishment by public shaming.

Richard Dameron, of Ohio, was sentenced by Judge Carr to stand outside a local police station holding a sign with an apology to “all police officers for being an idiot.” Dameron had called 911 while drunk and threatened to kill a retired police officer. The crime was considered “intimidation,” which is a third degree felony in Ohio.

Some people believe the punishment is a violation of the Eight Amendment, which forbids cruel and unusual punishments in criminal cases. Despite “cruel and unusual” not having an exact definition, violation of human dignity is not permitted. Dameron’s punishment will only last for three hours each day, for one week. As embarrassing as it may be, the sentence doesn’t qualify as “cruel and unusual.”

What Does Wichita Think?

Are public shaming sentences a unique way to punish law-breakers or have Judges taken it too far? Let us know what you think in the comment box below!


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